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Various Artists

Happy Birthday Buck: A Texas Salute to Buck Owens – 2002 (Texas Music Round-Up)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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The famed Continental Club in Austin has hosted a tribute to the man with the red, white and blue guitar and big smile for 11 years now. Many of the musicians who've participated in those shows - and some who haven't (Rodney Crowell and Rick Trevino) - went into the studio to further honor Owens on CD. And we're all the more jealous of missing the tribute shows 11 times for it.

Over the course of 21 songs, Austin all-stars like Toni Price ("Hot Dog"), Ted Roddy ("Tall Dark Stranger" with the Jordanaires) and The Derailers ("Under Your Spell") and non-Austinites like Jim Lauderdale ("Sweet Rosie Jones") celebrate the spirit and charm of being Buck. Owens his bad self showed up in 1995 and a dynamite live recording of "Love's Gonna Live Here" that he performed that night is the 22nd and final track.

Other highlights include Crowell's "Second Fiddle," Jeff Hughes' "Storm of Love," featuring a heavenly harmony vocal courtesy of Eddie Perez and "Palm of Your Hand," performed to hurting perfection by Libbi Bosworth. David Ball, The LeRoi Brothers, The Cornell Hurd Band, Rosie Flores, Monte Warden and others also contribute their talents to this way fun and well done Texas-sized tribute.